Review Blog

Feb 09 2017

Ruby Oliver novels by E. Lockhart

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Allen and Unwin, 2016.
The boy book : a study of boy habits and behaviours from me, Ruby Oliver. ISBN 9781760293765
The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon - and me, Ruby Oliver. ISBN 9781760293772
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Dating. Friendship. Humour. E. Lockhart, the author of the outstanding We were liars, had previously written a series of books for young adults, starring the indomitable Ruby Oliver. These have been reprinted and will be a welcome addition to any young adult collection. Although they are a series, each book can be read as a stand-alone and the character of Ruby will delight anyone who pursues the books.
The books are narrated in the first person, present tense giving them an immediate relevance. Ruby suffers from anxiety attacks and is very interested in boys and she describes all her thoughts and actions in a most entertaining and interesting way. Readers will find themselves laughing out loud at many of the antics that Ruby gets up but will appreciate the moments of wisdom as well:
Life isn't like the movies, and it can never be real and uncomplicated at the same time. (Treasure map of boys pg. 241).
Ruby struggles with all the issues that teens face: the dilemma of knowing who your real friends are, and deciding who is the ideal boyfriend, as well as facing the very real mental problem of anxiety attacks while navigating the treacherous waters of high school. These are all handled with a deft and humorous touch by Lockhart and will resonate with readers.
These are fun entertaining reads, ones to make the reader laugh and think.
Pat Pledger

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